The title character of “The Foreigner” doesn’t want to talk to anyone during his unwilling stay at a fishing lodge in Georgia. So he pretends to be a foreigner who doesn’t speak English.
That kind of ruse can backfire, and “foreigner” Charlie soon hears more than he wants to know as people assume he doesn’t understand a word they’re saying in the comedy “The Foreigner.”
Great Bend Community Theatre will offer its version of the popular play this week at the Crest Theater, 1905 Lakin Ave. The box office will open one hour before each show: 7:30 p.m. Thursday, Friday and Saturday, April 19-21, and a matinee at 2 p.m. Sunday, April 22. Tickets are $12, and season tickets are also available.
There’s also a play reception/social hour at 6 p.m. on Saturday, April 21, in the theater’s balcony. A separate ticket is needed to attend this affair, but the $10 price includes wine, beer and snacks; music performed by Brent Buehler and Patrick McClusky; a chance to meet the cast; and art by Great Bend High School students.
A “modern classic”
GBCT members performed “The Foreigner” back in 1995. At that time, Warren Deckert was the director and he described the comedy by Larry Shue as a “modern classic.” The 2018 version is being directed by Great Bend High School instructor Dan Heath.
“This has been an honor and a joy to direct such talented and committed actors here at the Great Bend Community Theatre,” Heath said. “It has been quite a change from my past experience working with students. I loved the energy and enthusiasm of the younger actors, but I even more so have enjoyed the professionalism and unbelievable experience that this group of performers has brought to this production.
“This may well be the funniest play I have ever been involved in,” Heath said. “The set, the costumes, the props and the individual performances of the actors all come together to form a truly remarkable work of art that should leave audiences laughing until it hurts.”
The cast includes Lyle Jones, KB Bell, Amber Wilder, Dyann Twitchell, Paul Martin, Chris Curtright Aaron Clark as Ellard.
Bell, Martin and Curtright were all in the 1995 GBCT production of “The Foreigner,” while Clark notes, “I wasn’t even born yet.” Curtright was also in the play when it was produced by the Barton Community College Theatre Department.
This time around, the audience will enjoy one of the production crew’s most detailed sets ever.
“Karen Gore painted the whole set,” stage manager Bonnie LeRoy said. “We just told her we wanted a log cabin look and she made it happen.” Paul Martin helped with the set decoration, supplying props that add interesting detail to the scenes.
“We have a phenomenal, talented cast,” LeRoy said. “Dan has been an excellent director who brings out the best in everyone.”
Heath described LeRoy as “the glue that has kept this production together.”
Audrey Mercer is the assistant director and CJ Gibson is the assistant stage manager.